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Moroccan Spiced Lamb Meatballs in Cumin Coriander Spiced Tomato Sauce

Prep Time: 40 min
Inactive Prep Time:
Cook Time: 30 min

about 32 meatballs, about 6 servings



  • 2 1/2 pounds ground lamb
  • Spice Mix, recipe follows
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup ketchup

Meatball Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin, toasted*
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander, toasted
  • 4 cups tomato puree
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley leaves
  • Slivered almonds, toasted, for garnish
  • Chopped fresh mint leaves, for garnish
  • Warmed pita wedges, for serving


*Cook’s Note: To toast spices, heat in a small, dry skillet over low heat until fragrant.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix lamb, Spice Mix, egg, and ketchup, being careful not to overwork the meat. Form into 1 1/4-ounce balls, about the size of a ping-pong ball. Place meatballs on a large baking sheet and bake for approximately 20 minutes.


In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the oil and heat, then add the onions and lightly saute until soft. Add garlic, shallots, cinnamon sticks, cumin, and coriander and saute over low heat, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomato puree and bring to a boil. Add stock and season sauce with salt, ground black pepper, mint, and parsley. Simmer for about 10 minutes and remove the cinnamon sticks.

To serve: Add the meatballs to the sauce and heat until warmed through. Pour a small amount of sauce on the plate and add 5 meatballs per serving. Garnish with toasted slivered almonds, mint, and warm pita wedges.


Spice Mix:

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, mix all the spices together. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.